Once more into the breach, dear readers! It is once again time for the weekly review of select anime this season. This post may be shorter than the last one, but the content is still just as much present! Possibly even worth a read! This week, subjects such as “What is better, the murder of all humans, or video games?” and “is manga the end-all-be-all of romantic knowledge?” are asked and answered! I forgot to mention it last time as I thought it would be obvious but, be aware there are many spoilers ahead. To kick things off, we will return to one of the more light-hearted series on the list yet again.
The fourth episode develops a little more something that has only briefly been touched on before: basically everything Makabe knows about women and relationships comes from manga. He spends as much time on studying shoujo manga as he does his own academic studies. It is hard to believe he has as much time as he does to constantly work out! Based on his “studies”, Makabe attempts cringe-worthy pickup lines and is amazed for some reason when they don’t work no Aki. In fact, they backfire so badly that Aki begins to find Makabe incredibly creepy, go figure. It is a good thing that Yoshino has agreed to help Makabe out, or his plans for revenge would fall to pieces due to his own ignorance. Also illustrated more in this episode is how poorly Aki treats Yoshino, the person who seems to care about her the most, continuously treating her like the servant that she has been raised to see her as.
Despite obvious clues to the contrary, Makabe worries that Yoshino’s advice has backfired, and he is worried all his work to enamor himself to Aki has fallen apart. The episode does a fairly good job of showing that Aki actually does care about Yoshino, even if she does act like she is above her nearly all the time, and that she actually does have conflicting feelings about Makabe, though it keeps her reasons in the dark. One of the more enjoyable aspects of this show is how it points how the cliches and tropes found in so many other shows of the genre (even though it does fall into a few of them). The characters remain likeable enough, and enough is left unanswered to keep a desire to see more throughout.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
The third episode episode opens with tragedy, as Kobayashi realizes her tiny apartment is too cramped to house the several more dragons that are inevitably going to show up and want to move in. Apparently, life as a dragon magnet is not easy. Fortunately, it appears to be very easy to find a three bedroom apartment that can house all the current occupants she has. The majority of the first episode is spent in packing, moving and then establishing who will have what room and for what purpose. All of the neighbors are introduced in an incredibly convenient way, namely that each of them are incredibly noisy and Tohru must discuss with each of them that they are too loud. Tohru learns more about human behavior from Kobayashi, finding compromises that do not have to end with murdering all of her neighbors (as fun as that may be to watch).
To avoid having to go to a function at her work, Kobayashi decides to say she is throwing a party (while only inviting one co-worker). Of course, Tohru decides she wants to have friends over to, and so invites Fafnir and Quetzalcoatl. It is both amusing and entertaining to see all powerful god-like dragons in human form, enjoying a small human party. Fafnir becomes addicted to a game reminiscent of Dark Souls. Kobayashi learns more about the world of dragons as well, namely that most of them seem to have very depressing pasts. While the show is still silly, the characters are pretty entertaining, and the mentions of actual mythological dragons adds to it by allowing some legends to come to life, albeit in a less destructive way than most of their legends would imply.
ACCA: 13- Territory Inspection Dept.
The Third episode begins with Jean attending a dinner event with Mauve. Though at first he thought it was an actual date he was asked on, he soon realises (to his embarrassment) that it is a business meeting, and that Mauve wants to recruit him to search for signs that a coup d’etat. Her thinking is that Jean is so low down the command ladder that no one would be suspicious of them having dinner together, a plan that is sure to backfire as Jean is already under suspicion from the Five Chief Officers. Meanwhile, the prince of the Dowan family is also informed that there may be a coup d’etat building, though he brushes it off as a silly rumor, as nobody could possibly threaten the kingdom so long as he is next in line for the throne.
The prince’s coming of age ceremony is soon, and as such invites are sent to the major districts, as well as a request for two employees from Jean’s department. Mauve discusses with Jean the prince, and how several of the more powerful districts fear him coming to power, as he is a complete buffoon, and fears this is where the coup will come from. As it is now, The Five are investigating a coup with Jean as their prime suspect, while Jean is investigating as well, for the head of ACCA. It is entirely unclear who it may be with the thoughts of overthrowing the government in mind, and that does a very good job of driving the mystery of the plot forward. Who is it that really wants power and control? Could one of the Five be at the head of it all, and that is why they are trying to paint Jean as a threat? Could Jean actually be, with his purely analytical reasoning, sure the kingdom would fail under this prince and be set to try and take over things as well? Could there be other, more sinister forces at work in the shadows? Mystery stories never reveal too much too early, and this is shaping up to be quite the story for sure.
The story picks up in episode 3 after Tanya’s wounds have healed from her heroic battle, and as she had hoped she does not immediately get shipped to the front lines, instead gaining a position in the rear where she feels she can live safely. As a new part of the instruction unit, she is immediately assigned to test the strength of a new magic jewel, a prototype that may amplify her power on the battlefield. The testing does not go well. The doctor responsible for creating the jewels insists there is no problem despite the jewel nearly blowing Tanya to pieces due to its instability. After requesting a transfer again, the project she is being forced to work on is cancelled, and “Being X” contacts her again, annoyed she has not developed an ounce of faith yet.
Tanya once again picks a fight with the creator, saying that she will never be desperate enough to need to call on a God, annoying him even further. This pushes god to change his tactics, instead telling her that he will give her a miracle. Unfortunately for Tanya, that miracle comes in the form of a bomb. The only way that her magic jewel won’t explode and kill her is if she says a prayer every time she uses it. Working with the premise of “God vs. the unfaithful” is a tough subject to breach, but so far this anime is handling it admirably. It is difficult to make a sociopath likeable, but the creators are doing a decent job of that as well. It is hard to say where this one will take the story, but it is a safe bet that Tanya is in store for a lot more trials and tribulation from this arrogant being that demands faith from his creations.
Akibara’s Trip The Animation
Episode four opens with Tamotsu installing a radio tower. After acquiring rare nerdy goods at a bargain, Tamotsu decides that they need to upgrade their communication network. It would appear that there is nothing Tamotsu is not massively nerdy and overly knowledgable about as he begins listing off old radios and setups. Tamotsu launches into a rant about how smartphones are useful, but amateur radio is better because it comes with a sense of adventure. Surprisingly, the show seems to have done research, as the things he lists seem to actually exist. Unfortunately, a Bugged One shows up with a massive radio tower, which appears to have the power to destroy clothing with radio waves. As this would kill our heroes, they make a hasty retreat before the radio blows up all their clothes.
From here, the episode becomes something of a lesson on the way radio waves work, which was actually mildly entertaining. From there they have to be told that aluminum foil stops radio waves, despite having a supposed genius scientist in their midst who apparently had no idea that this was possible, and then use this to construct aluminum armor from fast food wrappers. As nonsensical as this show is, if one tries really, really hard, it is possible to find things to enjoy about it. Oddly enough it seems after the initial copious amounts of fan service the animators have decided to tone it down quite a bit, and that is refreshing to say the least.
With that, the end of the week has come, and with it the end of the post. Is anybody watching anything on this list? If not, are people watching different anime? If so, do feel free to make recommendations and suggestions, as well as share opinions about anything that has been viewed here. Until next week, Lusites!